If you’ve heard the commentary of yesterday’s game on Sky then you have been subjected to Andy Walker at his worst. As bad as he is, he is not the worst of the lot. He’s merely on the sliding scale of bad.
There are others who are virtually howling at the moon.
Amidst all of this is the same sort of denial I wrote about yesterday in my Fear And Loathing piece, the flat refusal to accept – or perhaps even to acknowledge – that there is a real world out there.
A lot of the coverage is about how close we were run, and a lot of “what ifs?” about the “goal” from Morelos in the first half.
But we haven’t been beaten in the league since St Mirren did us earlier in the season. We haven’t been beaten at home in God knows how long. When we took the lead we deserved to. When we went back in front it was always likely. At 3-1 up we could have written our own ending and our own score-line had we not given away a soft goal.
The Mooch has come up against us three times and he has lost twice and drawn once. As Dylan said, “it doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
A record like that can only lead you to one conclusion. If they want to kid themselves on that the gap has closed that’s their own lookout. Even if it has, it doesn’t help them when we’re still ahead.
The media is in the business of helping sell season tickets over there now, and to do that they need to paint a picture of a club going in the right direction. But this is a team which still has McGregor, Goldson, Jack, Tavernier, Kent and Morelos in it and those guys have been there longer than just about anyone at Celtic Park save McGregor and Forrest.
Morelos was given the nod yesterday and huffed and puffed. Which tells you how highly rated Sakala and Colak are by the manager. Their big-game players produced exactly what? A Tavernier free kick got them back into the game and he scored that second due to poor marking on our part, and another dead ball delivery.
Ange himself pointed that out; their only real threats were from set pieces. This isn’t a team which an on-form Celtic team has to be concerned with. We weren’t at our best yesterday but we were still far from being under any real pressure. They had a little spell, but Hearts put us under greater strain at Tynecastle earlier in the season.
The press has been talking this crap about the gap for ages now. It’s such a cliché that they don’t even bother to wonder any longer if it has any utility at all. Just because we didn’t win by a comfortable margin they’ve “closed the gap”? Yeah?
On 28 December we went to Easter Road and beat Hibs 4-0. When they came to Celtic Park recently they were much better, and lost 4-1. Does that mean they’ve “closed the gap” and if so why don’t their fans take any comfort from that?
The league table shows the gap. It’s 12 points. That’s more than it was when The Mooch took over. He could have cut that gap to a mere three points if he’d been on his game and if his team were as good as the says they are.
They might have a trophy in the cabinet already. But we’ve increased our lead and won the first domestic trophy.
But the media will cling to that “improvement” from Hampden, setting themselves up for another fall and another disappointment. We know it because we’ve seen it.
They have too, but somehow the lesson just isn’t getting through to them.